Overseas artists returning homeEvery now and then, news about Korean artists ― musicians, ballerinas, painters, writers ― who are making a mark abroad gives Koreans a sense of pride, as if their achievements represented the elevation of the nation’s status in the world.
Beginning today, the Overseas Korea Foundation welcomes some of these artists home. The foundation’s 2003 Overseas Korean Cultural Festival boasts the talents of some of Korea’s finest artists and performers living abroad, and showcases the local arts community as well.
A highlight will be a concert at the Seoul Arts Center featuring Korean musicians who’ve achieved overseas fame. On Tuesday, the opera singer Jeong Eui-geun, a tenor who performs mainly in Italy and Austria, will be joined by Jeong Min-hee, a soprano from Switzerland, and Kim Doo-min, a cellist with the Cologne (Germany) Conservatory of Music. Operatic pieces by Dvorak, Puccini and Mendelssohn will be performed, centering on themes of Chuseok, Korea’s Thanksgiving: home, family and the moon.
The accomplishments of literary artists will be in the spotlight Wednesday and Thursday. A bevy of dinner parties, forums, awards ceremonies ― even tours of famous writers’ domiciles ― is scheduled.
More than 100 novelists and poets who have gained renown in foreign literary circles will partake in a forum on hanminjok (or Korean) literature. They will address themes such as overseas Korean communities and literature, and Korean literature in the age of multiculturalism. Participants from foreign circles include Anatoli Kim, Lee Hoe-seong, Elaine Kim, Hyeon Wol; those of local fame include Kim Hak-cheon, Go Eun, Ahn Jeong-hyo, Kim Wuchang and Gweon Yeong-min.
Rounding out the events are competitions in traditional arts and a calligraphy exhibition at Kumho Gallery, in Gwanghwamun, Seoul.
This is the seventh year the festival has been held by the foundation, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The festival’s mission is to spur exchange between foreign and local arts communities and to strengthen cultural ties among Koreans worldwide.
This year’s event was scheduled for the week before Chuseok “to emphasize the feeling of ‘home country’ at the events,” says Kim Chae-young, the manager of the foundation.
For concert tickets, call (02) 3475-5182. Those wishing to attend the literary forum should fill out a registration form at www.okf.or.kr . For more information call (02) 3463-6265 or go to www.korean.net.
by Choi Jie-ho